Lessons learned from the Ebola crisis in West Africa help inform UNDP's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. September 18, 2014: Construction workers clearing land to build a new Ebola Treatment Unit, Monrovia, Liberia.


As part of the efforts to strengthen Africa’s response and preparedness in combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, the African Union Commission through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and UNDP have jointly designed a programme to support on-going efforts in Africa.  

The programme aims to coordinate the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts with Member States, Regional Economic Communities and Regional Mechanisms as well as Civil Society Organisations and Faith-based Organizations to ensure holistic cooperation and communication approaches.

The four joint interventions areas are:  

  1. Regional coordination and building of synergies; 
  2. Socio-economic, health, governance and political impact assessments; 
  3. Capacity building and knowledge sharing; 
  4. Risk communication strategies and sensitization campaigns.

These areas are aligned both with UNDP’s regional approach on response and recovery as well as the Africa CDC’s mandate and the continental strategy on COVID-19 preparedness and response.   

Specific focus on surveillance; laboratory; counter-measures guidance; healthcare preparedness; risk communications and social engagement; supply-chain management continues to be led by the Africa CDC. 

“Africa CDC is delighted to work with UNDP to implement the joint continental strategy for COVID-19 outbreak. Our strategy is clear: we want to capacitate the Member States so they can quickly detecas well at and mitigate the effects of the disease in Africa, and, if widespread transmission occurs, prevent severe illness and death,” said Africa CDC Deputy Director, Dr. Ahmed E. Ogwell Ouma.

"We’ve been through a lot on the continent and although we have learnt lessons from Ebola, the COVID-19 threat in Africa is multi-dimensional. UNDP is proud to work with the African Union through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention to not only draw on learnings from Ebola but so that we can prepare better, fight back and recover stronger." - Ahunna Eziakonwa, UNDP Africa Director

Media Contact:  

Mrs. Wynne Musabayana | Head of Communication | Directorate of Information and Communication | African Union Commission | Tel: (251) 11 551 77 00 | E-mail: DIC@africa-union.org  | www.au.int|Addis Ababa | Ethiopia

Mr. James Ayodele Oladipo, Principal Communication Officer, Africa CDC |AyodeleJ@africa– union.org|

Kymberly Bays, Communications Officer a.i., UNDP Africa I Kymberly.bays@undp.org

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